As one year ends and another begins, it’s time to pause and give thanks. As I look back on 2021, I am grateful for customers, colleagues, businesses, neighbors and friends who showed compassion for their fellow community members. In a year that was, in many ways, just as difficult as the last, it was affirmed that one good deed always leads to another.
Let me share how, by going back to the fall of 2020, when the pandemic had upended plans for our annual Warm Bodies, Warm Souls clothing drive. Because many nonprofit organizations had to alter their policies for clothing donations, we had to postpone the event. Our customers and employees still wanted to find a way to help, so Bank of Utah signed on with Boy Scouts of America for the “Scouting for Food” event in January 2021. Thanks to our customers, employees and partners, we collected over 142,000 pounds of food for families in need.
As I mentioned earlier, one good deed leads to another …
In May, community members participated in the Bank’s inaugural Spring Into Serviceproject as a way to strengthen our communities. For every service project reported to the Bank, we donated money to a charity. Colleagues, friends and neighbors joined in, randomly paying tolls for drivers, washing cars in drive-thrus and buying lunch for others. Twelve charities received cash donations as a result.
Later that month, the Bank teamed up with United Way of Northern Utah to create a Born Learning Trail at Browning Park, near Shadow Valley Elementary. Volunteers painted games on sidewalks and dug holes for instructional signs, and by the end of the day, schoolchildren were already enjoying the trail.
Then in November, members of our senior management team spent several humbling evenings volunteering with Family Promise. My wife and I stayed overnight at the North Ogden Fire Station, where local homeless families could come if they needed shelter. After dinner, we spent time with these families and their young children. As we watched the kids play, we realized just how important the work of local nonprofits is.
Now it’s December, and I want to circle back to Warm Bodies Warm Souls. This year, the clothing drive was back to normal, and the results were extraordinary. Thanks to our partners, customers and employees, we distributed 637 bags of clothing — that’s the most we’ve ever collected in our nine years of hosting the event — and over $5,000 in cash donations to 13 Utah charities.
Whether we’re providing clothing or monetary donations to local nonprofit organizations, supporting local businesses, volunteering with charitable organizations or offering services to meet customers’ financial needs, Bank of Utah is proud to serve all of our communities from Logan to St. George.
As I look forward to 2022, I simply want to say a heartfelt thank you, for reminding me that there’s nothing quite as wonderful as doing something good for someone else.
With appreciation at the holidays and always,
_Douglas L. DeFries _
President & CEO